A Chronology of Appearances

This work-in-progress lists all currently known appearances, drawn from a variety of sources.
Compiled by Simon Montgomery, © 2001-2015.
Special thanks to Joel Bernstein for his contributions and assistance.
Latest Update: August 15, 2015
Please send comments, corrections or additions to: simon@icu.com

1976 . 02 . 20 Nassau Coliseum Uniondale, NY

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Review by David Rind

To characterize a Joni Mitchell concert, it is sufficient to know three things: her emotional mood, her energy level, and the quality of voice. At Nassau Coliseum, her mood was impersonal, her energy level a bit tired, and her voice good, but not great. Perhaps because of the cavernous arena this was not a night for intimacy, but for workmanlike renditions. Songs whose beat provided her with energy were shown to best advantage. These included wonderfully rhythmic versions of "Big Yellow Taxi" and "Shadows and Light", as well as energetic performances of "Don Juan's Reckless Daughter" and "Talk to Me". The former song was introduced as the sequel to Coyote, and it's clear that she considers them a natural pairing, even though they ultimately appeared on different albums.

Of the slower pieces, the best were those which are more impersonal : "Edith and the Kingpin", and "Furry Sings the Blues", both done with little accompaniment. At disadvantage were those which require deep-felt emotions, such as "For the Roses", and "Shades of Scarlet Conquering". They were presented in an earnest, almost talky style, affected perhaps by a somewhat tired voice - this was the end of a three month tour. Symbolically, there were no songs from "Blue", the most emotional of her albums (true also for the entire tour).

Other highlights included the 'Miles of Aisles' version of "Rainy Night House", whose languid pace seemed to perfectly match her own, and a swinging, good-spirited rendition of "Twisted" to end the show. "For Free" was presented as the 'romantic version'; Joni then proceeded to tell the story of what happened subsequently. When she saw the street musician again, he had a sign saying "help me, I'm blind", and he told her his clarinet has been broken in a robbery attempt. So she gave a friend some money to buy him a new clarinet, which was done. The friend then saw him several days later, again with the "help me I'm blind" sign, and when asked about the instrument, he said it had been broken in a robbery attempt. The friend called Joni and told her, "Joni, you're a very naive person".

Joni was dressed in a black pant suit and black hat, with her hair carefully tucked away, workman-like. Accompaniment was by the L.A. Express, in their usual workman-like fashion. Overall, I would rate this concert "B".

The song list:

Help Me
For Love or Money
Free Man in Paris
For the Roses
Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire
Big Yellow Taxi
Shades of Scarlet Conquering
For Free
Coyote
Don Juan's Reckless Daughter
Just Like This Train
Shadows and Light
In France They Kiss on Main Street
Edith and the Kingpin
Talk to Me
Harry's House/Centerpiece
Furry Sings the Blues
Troubled Child
Rainy Night House
Raised on Robbery
The Jungle Line
Twisted